Retired Vietnamese Teacher Handed 14-Year Prison Term in Subversion Trial

A retired teacher who posted writings on his Facebook page criticizing Vietnam’s government was convicted on Wednesday of trying to overthrow the state and was handed a 14-year prison term in a sentence his lawyer called “unjustified and much too harsh.”

Dao Quang Thuc, 58, had called in his online writings and in public protests for better protections for Vietnam’s environment and against what many in Vietnam consider encroachments by China in the South China Sea.

China’s claims and construction of artificial islands in the region have sparked frequent anti-China protests in Vietnam, which the one-party communist government in Hanoi fears as a potential threat to its own political control.

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